Schtuff

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Although I’m no Jeff Schuler or Andy Timithy in terms of hard­core bik­ing, I think I’m go­ing to start rid­ing my bike to work come Monday.

I was gonna grill on Sunday but it looks like thun­der­storms.

I got my or­der from Toms Shoes yes­ter­day. They are as com­fort­able as they say. I didn’t be­lieve it. But the best part is that my pur­chase bought a pair of shoes for a shoe­less kid as well. All Toms Shoes pur­chas­es do that. If you de­cide to get some, you can use the dis­count code 1PAIR4FEET at the check­out to get a fiver off the price. Basically free ship­ping.

Finished Herodotus, con­vinced he’s the first weblog­ger. Back to Agee and U.S. Guys by Charlie LeDuff.

Probably gonna go see Antaeus Dance tonight since just about every­one I know is in the per­for­mance, in­clud­ing the afore­men­tioned JS.

PhotoShop Class

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

I took a PhotoShop class all day to­day just down the street from my of­fice. I learned a met­ric fuck­ton of in­fo that I can’t wait to put in­to prac­tice. I used to won­der what could be so im­por­tant that busi­ness folks would be on their cell­phones all the time, but I was wor­ried about the de­liv­ery of the ISC Annual Report since I was the main mo­ti­va­tor at get­ting a few copies print­ed and bound nice­ly. They were due yes­ter­day, and last I knew they still hadn’t been de­liv­ered. They’re due to­mor­row, by law, to the ADP Board, so I was hitch­ing back down the street on breaks and mak­ing phone calls to check on the every­thing.

And the thing is, I don’t mind it. I love the fact that I’m trust­ed to im­ple­ment my ideas and ex­pect­ed to suc­ceed at them. My judg­ment is trust­ed and I love that re­spon­si­bil­i­ty.

R2 Detour

Monday, 26 March 2007

Mom came up this week­end and bought a lap­top. I was gonna pimp it out for her, but Adelphia/​Time Warner de­cid­ed to switch over their servers with­out no­ti­fy­ing us, and it took them the whole week­end to turn it back on. Frustrating.

On my way to work to­day I saw this guy.
R2D2 First Class

Nostalgia Reject

Saturday, 24 March 2007

I think I’m go­ing to re­ject the act of nos­tal­gia from my life. Hindsight, re­flec­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the past are fine, but com­par­ing the past to the present’s detri­ment is in­ef­fi­cient, ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­au­then­tic. All mo­ments are in­com­pa­ra­bly pre­cious and mo­ments past should not dis­tract and de­tract from the val­ue of the mo­ments present.

Ratatat Deux

Thursday, 22 March 2007

I saw Ratatat for the sec­ond time last week­end. The first time was al­most two years ago when they were tour­ing with Clinic. Stroud didn’t ap­pear to be pound­ing whisky as hard as he was last time, but I wasn’t pay­ing much at­ten­tion, since the Beachland was in­un­dat­ed with mid­dle and high school kids in an all ages showathon. Damn kids don’t know how to be­have at a show. I don’t know how many times some­one whined at me “Why won’t you let me in front of you?” since I was pret­ty close to the stage and am tall. Damn kids should have showed up at 8:30 like I did to see the open­ing acts. They might have learned that the lo­cal Muamin Collective is great. Despite the sea of greasy teenager­dom I en­joyed the show. Ratatat’s act is more pol­ished than it was two years ago [to be ex­pect­ed], but the best part is that I have a cam­era that takes video so I can share the love.

Ratatat “Crips”:
Ratatat “Truman”:
Ratatat “Seventeen Years”:

The Blood of a Poet

A part of this view­ing list: Criterion Collection Spine #67: Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of A Poet.

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At first, this film seemed im­pen­e­tra­ble to me. It on­ly clocks in at 50 min­utes, but the film is so filled with a need for in­ter­pre­ta­tion that “preg­nant” doesn’t even be­gin to de­scribe it. Jean Cocteau ex­plic­it­ly states that the film is an al­le­go­ry [or sev­er­al of them] about the the mean­ing of art both time­less­ly and in the age of me­chan­i­cal re­pro­duc­tion. I’ve very de­lib­er­ate­ly not read any­thing about this film [I will on­ce I’ve fin­ished this re­view, you­betcha] but I sus­pect that Cocteau was wrestling with his own artis­tic thought-demons and up­on com­ple­tion, he de­cid­ed to ex­press them per­son­al­ly, and ul­ti­mate­ly fa­tal­is­ti­cal­ly in this film.

bloodpoet2.jpg

A few in­ter­ti­tles set the stage ear­ly on, as an artist is work­ing on a draw­ing of a stat­ue in his room. The mouth of the draw­ing comes to life and ends up get­ting at­tached to his hand and pos­sess­ing it. It de­mands air, makes out with him, fondles his body and prob­a­bly gives him a blowjob [a cut makes this part mere­ly im­plied, at least to me]. Eventually the artist/​poet ends up go­ing through the look­ing-glass and in­to his own [and since he stands for Cocteau, Cocteau’s] mind. His mind hap­pens to be a hotel hall­way and as he peeks through the key­holes he glimpses styl­ized and dis­turbing things.

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The film is quite vi­o­lent, much of which is ex­pressed with the char­ac­ter­is­tic Cocteau in­ven­tive­ness. He was cer­tain­ly a spe­cial ef­fects ge­nius. Since much of this vi­o­lence ap­pears to be an in­ter­nal­ized man­i­fes­ta­tion of the artist’s mind, it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that there is an equal amount of de­viant sex­u­al be­hav­ior as well, a child dressed in bells is whipped, an opi­um den is viewed in sil­hou­et­te, a her­maph­ro­dite gives a peep-show, not to men­tion the afore­men­tioned hand/​blowjob.

bloodpoet3.jpg

The statue’s con­trol of the artist/​poet sug­gests that it rep­re­sents a Muse, but a rene­gade one who doesn’t play by the rules. She is out to teach a lesson; though art may pos­sess and provide grandiose and won­der­ful and world-chang­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty to the artist, some­thing of ex­treme solem­ni­ty; to oth­ers it will like­ly be just friv­o­lous en­ter­tain­ment. And, ul­ti­mate­ly, the im­por­tance of the art will not mat­ter, it will be de­stroyed, ig­nored, dis­in­te­grat­ed, or for­got­ten. Cocteau even in­di­cates that im­mor­tal­i­ty is not to be de­sired… “the mor­tal te­di­um of im­mor­tal­i­ty.”

bloodpoet5.jpg

Effectually, the film is an at­tempt to ren­der po­et­ic words un­to im­ages, and to me it seems to be more doc­u­ment than fa­ble, Cocteau of­fers no easy so­lu­tions. Especially since the artist/​poet com­mits sui­cide twice dur­ing the film. Stars, wire­frames, pas­sages, voyeuris­tic glo­ry ever­last­ing, de­nial, lar­ce­ny and pow­er­less­ness all in­ter­twine to present a two-fold mean­ing [at least] for the Blood of a Poet. The blood is his art, and art de­mands a poet’s blood.

bloodpoet6.jpg

Criterion Essay by Jean Cocteau.
• Brief re­view at Netcomuk [and much more Cocteau].
• Senses of Cinema re­view.
MovieMartyr re­view.
• YouTube clip of a good trick shot.

Lucky Strike

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

I got lucky tonight when the pow­er went off at my [most­ly worth­less] Flash class at the Tri-C Corporate College. We left ear­ly, which meant I had time to play pseudo-catch-up on all the crap that has been pil­ing up at my apart­ment. I used to won­der how it could be pos­si­ble that some­one might not have enough time to read, but with the three vol­un­teer projects I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing on, the free­lance work, my reg­u­lar 9 – 5 and oth­er un­seen events, I now have a huge pile of read­ing. I’ve al­ready re­newed the Agee book of film re­views twice and Herodotus on­ce. Incidentally, read­ing Herodotus is a lot like read­ing a weblog. I’m two months be­hind on my Paste sub­scrip­tion, so I’ve def­i­nite­ly got to catch up on that.

I man­aged to watch a Criterion film twice tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to fin­ish the re­view to­mor­row. I was pseudo-MetaFiltered when some­one linked to my Criterion Project in an­oth­er post about some­one who in­tends to watch all of the films. I on­ly got about a 30% in­crease in traf­fic, [took me forever to re­mem­ber the pass­word to check my web­stats] which is good. If I had been linked on the front page, I’d prob­a­bly have to pay a hefty server bill this mon­th.

Checking the web­stats re­vealed that the string that keeps re­sult­ing in hits for my site is “rape sce­nes” ever since, way back when, I re­viewed Straw Dogs. And now I prob­a­bly just in­creased the chance of my site show­ing up in that re­sult by writ­ing it here. DON’T INDEX THIS, BOT!

Going to sleep now. I’ll be bowl­ing for Harvest for Hunger to­mor­row at the Corner Alley. I was shang­haied by the Department of Development when they lost a per­son. The County Commissioners are bowl­ing again­st City of­fi­cials to­mor­row be­fore us nobody’s get to work. I haven’t bowled in a few years but I ful­ly in­tend to kick everyone’s ass.